They seek a treasure and find a monster…
Thurvok, the sellsword, and his friends Meldom, thief, cutpurse and occasional assassin, the sorceress Sharenna and Meldom’s sweetheart Lysha are on the hunt for a legendary pirate treasure, when they find themselves marooned on a desolate isle. To add insult to injury, there is no treasure on the island. There are, however, monsters…
This is a short story of 5400 words or 20 print pages in the Thurvok sword and sorcery series, but may be read as a standalone. Includes an introduction and afterword.
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- The Beast from the Sea of Blood is a short story of 5400 words or approximately 20 print pages in the Thurvok series, but may be read as a standalone. This story is a digital premiere and has never been published previously.
- The Beast from the Sea of Blood was one of the stories written during the 2019 July short story challenge, where the aim was to write a short story per day in July 2019.
- Like many of the July short story challenge stories, The Beast from the Sea of Blood was inspired by a piece of fantasy art, namely this one by comic artist Gino d’Achille.
- This is the second seafaring Thurvok adventure in a row. And once more, the promised legendary pirate treasure turns out to be a bust.
- The scene with the skull was not in the first draft of the story, but added during rewrites. I included it, because I felt that the appearance of the monster needed a bit more foreshadowing. Besides, it gives Sharenna the chance to show off more of her magical talents.
- Food is important in my fiction, though it features less in the Thurvok stories than in other series. The Beast from the Sea of Blood is something of an exception, since it not only shows Thurvok, Meldom, Sharenna and Lysha enjoying a seafood boil, but this meal also explains how they beat the monster of the day.
- Unlike my other stories, the Thurvok series is credited to Richard Blakemore, whom regular readers will recognise as the pulp writer protagonist of the Silencer series. As for why the Thurvok series is credited to Richard Blakemore, in the Silencer story Mean Streets and Dead Alleys, Richard purchases the January 1936 issue of Weird Tales and is pleased to find a new instalment of a Conan serial by Robert E. Howard, a Jirel of Joiry novelette by C.L. Moore, a Jules de Grandin novelette by Seabury Quinn as well as one of Margaret Brundage’s famous covers. He also muses that he would like to take a stab at writing something like that one day. This throwaway scene got me thinking, “What if Richard actually did write a sword and sorcery series for Jake Levonsky?”
- When I found myself writing a sword and sorcery adventure for the July short story challenge some time later, I suddenly wondered, “What if this was Richard Blakemore’s lost sword and sorcery series?” And so I decided to credit the story to Richard and pass myself off as the editor who rediscovered him. I even created a blog, a Twitter account and an Amazon author page for Richard and filled out a Smashwords interview in his persona.
- The cover is stock art by Daniel Eskridge.